TIP OF THE WEEK
The following tips for walking from certified group fitness instructor Michele Stanten and public-health and transportation consultant Mark Fenton come from Real Simple.
— Spine: Your spine should be straight, with ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips, and hips over knees.
— Arms: Arms should be bent at 90 degrees and swing back and forth (not across the body) from the shoulders. Your legs will naturally move in sync. The faster you swing, the faster you’ll walk.
— Feet: Your feet should land heel first with each step. You should then roll through the foot and push off with your toes.
Walking the right way can help you as you pursue your goals, whether weight loss, heart health or relaxation.
Hot weather can slow your brain down
New research is showing heat stress can muddle our thinking, making simple math harder to do, according to a report from NPR.
“There’s evidence that our brains are susceptible to temperature abnormalities,” said Joe Allen, co-director of the Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment at Harvard University, in the report.
Allen and other researchers compared college students living in a dorm with central air conditioning (average temperature 71 degrees) and students living in dorms with no AC (average temperature almost 80 degrees).
When they woke up, students took tests measuring cognitive speed, memory, attention and processing speed. Reaction times of students in the warmer building were 10-13 percent lower.
These results add to other studies of heat and mental performance.
“Evidence shows that the indoor temperature can have a dramatic impact on our ability to be productive and learn,” Allen said.
What to do if someone has heat-related illness
The National Institute on Aging, part of the National institutes of Health, offers the following advice for what to do if you suspect someone is suffering from a heat-related illness.
It’s particularly important as you age, because bodies lose some ability to adapt to heat, an older person might have a medical condition that is worsened by heat and medications can reduce the ability to respond to heat.
If you suspect that someone is suffering from a heat-related illness:
1. Move them into an air-conditioned or other cool place.
2. Urge them to lie down and rest.
3. Remove or loosen tight-fitting or heavy clothing.
4. Encourage them to drink water or juice if they can drink without choking.
5. Apply cold water, ice packs or cold wet cloths to the skin.
6. Get medical assistance as soon as possible.
For more information on heat-related illnesses, visit www.nih.gov.
Pear and Quinoa Salad
For a salad that packs in protein, try this recipe from Johns Hopkins Medicine.
— 2 cups cooked quinoa (red provides more color)
— 2 cups chopped pear
— 2 stalks celery, chopped
— 1/4 cup golden raisins
— 1/4 cup sliced almonds
— 1/4 cup raspberry vinaigrette
— Four romaine lettuce leaves
Mix all ingredients and mound into lettuce leaves. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Makes four servings
Each serving contains about 258 calories, 7 g fat (no saturated fat, trans fat, or cholesterol), 161 mg sodium, 45 g carbohydrate, 7 g dietary fiber, 17 g sugars, and 6 g protein.